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Level 4 Amenity Horticulture (on campus or industry-based)



One year full-time (on campus) or two to three years part-time (industry-based)

On campus full-time with a minimum four weeks of work placement OR if industry-based, part-time delivery is in your workplace, with block courses and online learning 

This programme is not running in 2021. Please register your interest for 2022.
February 2022 (on campus)
Anytime (industry-based)
January 2022 (on campus); anytime (industry-based)
  • Location
    Study breaks
  • Dunedin
    1 February 2021

Want to improve your amenity horticulture skills? 

This New Zealand Certificate in Horticulture Services (Level 4) (Amenity) is ideal for those who want to build on their Level 3 Amenity Horticulture learning or for those who are working in the amenity sector, have existing experience and want to gain a relevant qualification and increase their supervisory skills.  

This programme sits within a progressive training pathway that is industry-recognised. You will learn new skills through a combination of practical, online learning block courses and those studying full-time on campus will undertake a minimum four weeks of work placement. That, along with hands-on learning within our specialist facilities, will enable you to build the practical knowledge and experience you need to hit the ground running.  

Graduates will be capable of providing day-to-day supervision and will be able to contribute to more effective and efficient operations. Career opportunities include an amenity gardener, collection curator, grounds person or amenity horticulture. 

Skills required
  • An enjoyment of working outdoors 
  • Physical fitness 
  • Planning and organisational skills 
  • Good communication and the ability to work in a team 
  • An eye for detail 
  • Strong work ethic
Entry requirements 

If you need to improve your English Language skills, we offer a wide range of English programmes.

Please note: This programme is not available for international students. 

Selection process

Applicants will be selected on a first-come, first-served basis until the programme has reached full capacity. 

Additional costs

You are required to buy some items of personal protective equipment, personal stationery and textbooks. Please note that many suppliers offer student discounts once you have enrolled and it is preferred that you wait until the first week of your programme before purchasing these items. 

All costs below are approximate only. 

  • Steel toecap boots ($100 - $200)
  • Secateurs ($40 - $120)
  • Gloves ($15 - $25)
  • Class 5 earmuffs ($40 - $50)
  • Safety glasses ($15 - $25)
  • Camera ($100 - $200)
  • Printing and photo printing ($30)
  • Textbooks ($200)
  • Stationery ($25) 

Financial assistance is available through StudyLink under course-related costs. Please see the Student Loans and Allowances section for more information.  

You will study 

Supervisory Skills in Horticulture (10 credits)

Learn how to use interpersonal communication skills to achieve desired outcomes in horticulture. 

Indicative content

  • Supervisor responsibilities
  • Instructing team members
  • Allocation of work within teams
  • Giving and receiving feedback 

Management of Amenity Areas (20 credits)

Learn how to manage the maintenance and aesthetic effect of plants, parks and open spaces within the concept of Maramataka.

Indicative content

  • Maramataka
  • Seasonal horticulture tasks
  • Turf establishment and care 

Amenity Pruning (10 credits)

Learn how to apply pruning techniques in amenity horticulture. 

Indicative content

  • Plant growth characteristics
  • Plant responses to pruning
  • Seasonal pruning 

Applied Plant and Soil Science (15 credits)

Learn how to apply knowledge of plant and soil science to achieve management plan goals within the concept of Ahi Kaa. 

Indicative content

  • Ahi Kaa
  • Properties and processes of soil
  • Plant structures and processes
  • Sustainable soil and plant management 

Plant Identification and Naming (15 credits)

Learn to identify plants and apply plant nomenclature. 

Indicative content

  • Botanical nomenclature
  • Plant identification
  • Plant classification system 

Plant Selection and Displays (10 credits)

Learn to select amenity plants to achieve functional and aesthetic effects 

Indicative content

  • Plant identification
  • Plant selection
  • Principles and elements of design
  • Displaying plants 

Propagation (10 credits)

Learn to propagate and grow amenity plants 

Indicative content

  • Propagation techniques
  • Growing media
  • Plant care
  • Propagation records 

Amenity Planting (10 credits)

Learn to carry out planting to achieve management plan goals 

Indicative content

  • Planting preparation
  • Planting techniques
  • Plant establishment 

Pests, Diseases and Weeds (15 credits)

Learn to identify and describe plant health problems and control options 

Indicative content

  • Pest, disease, disorder and weed identification
  • Plant health control options
  • Integrated pest management plan 

Asset Management (15 credits)  

Learn to carry out inspections of assets and monitor maintenance schedules

Indicative content

  • Asset monitoring and assessment
  • Asset records
  • Identification of work standards 
Work placement


Full-time learners will complete a minimum of four weeks’ work placement within the amenity sector. 

You will be placed with an employer/host in industry, within Dunedin, and our horticulture staff will visit you at your worksite. Our staff will also be available by phone for students or employers to contact them. Employers/industry hosts will provide feedback to you. 


Part-time learners who are already industry-based may be assessed on-the-job by our horticulture staff and/or in partnership with their employer.  

Your workload


On average you will undertake four days a week of practical instruction and theory teaching. In addition to this, you will carry out your own self-directed study. It is expected that you will participate in a minimum four weeks of work placement during your programme. 

Further study options

If you want to progress your learning, you could study the New Zealand Certificate in Horticulture Services (Level 4) in a different strand/horticulture sector or the New Zealand Certificate in Horticulture Services (Level 5) (Amenity).  

Student loans and allowances with TTAF

Whilst this programme is free for you to study via the Trades and Apprenticeship Fund (TTAF), this fund only covers tuition fees and compulsory costs such as student levies. It does not cover any additional costs or living costs. 

You can pay for additional and living costs by yourself if that is possible for you or by applying for a loan or allowance through Studylink.

Loans and allowances are only available for full-time domestic students. Part-time students may still be able to get financial assistance through a loan though (see here for more info about part-time study). 

It is important to apply for your student loan/allowance at the same time as you apply for this programme, due to the length of time Studylink take to process. Loan/allowance applications can be cancelled at any time if you decide to withdraw your programme application or if it is unsuccessful.  


While every effort is made to ensure that this sheet is accurate, Otago Polytechnic reserves the right to amend, alter or withdraw any of the contained information. The fees shown in this document are indicative ONLY. Both domestic and international fees are subject to change and are dependent on the development and implementation of Government policies. Please note that additional fees may from time to time be required for external examination, NZQA fees and/or additional material fees.

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